In this article, we outline the five most common mistakes that can wreck your multi-cloud strategy and tell you how to prevent them.
The significant challenges of the cloud
The cloud is often seen as a miraculous solution, endowed with great agility and tremendous elasticity. Still, we tend to forget that it also comes with many challenges that push companies to error.
Multi Cloud is a hybrid world, notably combining several cloud environments with local data centres. This diversity creates a lack of visibility into multi-cloud ecosystems, which thus become more challenging to secure.
The visibility problem is often linked to a lack of tools, inappropriate resources, and sometimes excessive needs. This abundance is a real obstacle in terms of supervision. We can thus combine an APM to supervise the upper application layers, tools dedicated to certain functionalities such as SAP, and tools provided by cloud providers, such as CloudWatch or Azure Monitor. Under these conditions, employees devote a lot of time investigating the MTTI for Meantime. A long MTTI will also impact the Mean Time to Repair or average repair time. And we are witnessing an increase in the number of incidents, even as the technologies and solutions of cloud providers are increasingly reliable.
Multi Cloud is often synonymous with geographical dispersion, multiple accounts, and providers, which do not necessarily all operate in the same way. The constant changes of these environments also involve governance difficulties and the acquisition of new skills (new languages, new APIs, etc.).
We can see how this ever-changing diversity of clouds, data centres, tools, accounts, and suppliers can complicate internal organization.
The company finds itself faced with a very complex situation, the costs of which it does not necessarily control.
The five mistakes not to make in a multi-cloud strategy
These challenges cause companies to make mistakes. CDOs, CTOs and DSIs regularly point to five.
1. Leave planning to chance
The first mistake is to plan by accident rather than by design. In other words, companies too often consider the cloud as a simple technological brick, while its implications are much broader. They, therefore, cannot afford to let certain employees choose a cloud provider by personal preference, habit, or based on experience acquired in another organization. On the contrary, it is necessary to define a multi-cloud strategy from the beginning. Even if the company starts with just one cloud provider, it should immediately consider how the different components work together.
2. Supervise blindly
The second error deprives oneself of a unique and global vision of the various management, monitoring, and observability tools, which amounts to advancing partly blindly. In this case, you have access to the details but not to the overview. You see the trees, but you obscure the forest.
To avoid this pitfall, it is recommended to turn to standard tools that have already been proven on multicoloured rather than proprietary solutions. For example, in the case of monitoring, this may be OpenTelemetry, which offers open-source agents.
3. Missing out on needs
It is also essential to analyze and understand the company’s actual needs in terms of performance so as not to be burdened with inadequate resources. This may be too much storage space in some environments, resulting in unnecessary overhead. In other cases, these resources will be insufficient or badly decommissioned services that continue to be billed.
This error is often based on a received idea that all cloud environments are, by default, interoperable. It is simply wrong. Today, while cloud providers use many standard technologies, such as containers or serverless, their implementation is different in load balancing, security, network, deployment, or API. It is, therefore, not necessarily easy to switch from one environment to another.
4. Delegate security issues
The fourth error concerns security. Companies tend to think of these matters as the sole responsibility of the cloud provider, but they are wrong. The latter may do an excellent job in this area, but their efforts will never be enough because they are regularly attacked (they are even sometimes privileged targets). Therefore, companies must keep in mind that by opening up to the cloud, they necessarily increase their attack surface. To protect themselves, they must maintain a global vision of their activities.
5. Put architecture before business needs
The last mistake is to consider technology before business needs. Today, business functions are constantly evolving and, as they enjoy significant autonomy, they can also add additional technological bricks (shadow IT). It is, therefore, necessary to think of the architecture from a functional rather than a technical point of view and to develop, from the start, a multi-cloud approach that will be able to adapt to the evolution of business needs.
If there are other pitfalls to avoid, these five points are reasonable for developing a solid cloud strategy.